God Is a Loving Father
"See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are." 1 John 3:1
In Brennan Manning’s book, Abba’s Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging, he writes,
But we cannot assume that [God] feels about us the way we feel about ourselves—unless we love ourselves compassionately, intensely, and freely. In human form Jesus revealed to us what God is like. He exposed our projections for the idolatry that they are and gave us the way to become free of them.
It takes a profound conversion to accept that God is relentlessly tender and compassionate toward us just as we are—not in spite of our sins and faults (that would not be total acceptance), but with them. Though God does not condone or sanction evil, He does not withhold his love because there is evil in us.
May we experience the freedom that comes with a true revelation of God’s unceasing love for us.
God loves you with an unconditional love. To know God is to know love in its truest form, because he is love. Love isn’t just something he gives. It isn’t just something that he feels. It is who he is. God’s love for you is limitless and has the power to set you free from every wound, thought, sin, and broken relationship that causes you to live anything less than a joyful and content life.
Romans 5:8 says, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Really take a minute today and allow the truth of God’s word to settle into your heart. While you were still a sinner, Christ gave his life that you might live. God demonstrated the depth of his love for you by sending Jesus to die while you were still a slave to sin. At your lowest point, God loved you with an everlasting love. There is no need to cleanse or fix yourself before you run into the arms of God. There is no need to fake happiness or holiness with your heavenly Father. God loved you prior to clothing you with Christ. He will love you in the midst of every mistake you make, and he will love you whether or not you ever love him back. His wrath was satisfied with the death of Jesus so that you could come to him just as you are and simply experience his love.
Titus 3:4-5 says, “But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.” Take time in guided prayer to allow the Holy Spirit to wash you with regeneration and renewal. Allow God to cast out any fear or reservation that is keeping you from experiencing the fullness of his love. Allow him to establish a new foundation of grace on which you live with unshakable joy and security in the affections of your heavenly Father.
1. Meditate on the depth of God’s love for you. Allow the truth of his grace and mercy to settle in and change your perspectives.
“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.” Isaiah 49:15-16
2. What keeps you from experiencing God’s love? What thought or wound holds you back from spending more time with your heavenly Father?
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” 1 John 4:18
3. Allow God’s love to renew within you a longing to spend more time with him. Rest in his presence. Receive a fresh revelation of his goodness. Spend time with your heavenly Father just letting him love you.
“The Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” Jeremiah 31:3
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” 1 John 3:1
It’s vital that as believers we are constantly checking the status of our mental and emotional health. A single lie planted in our mind has the power to steer us away from experiencing the fullness of God’s love. If you are having a hard time pursuing relationship with God, take some time to find out why. If you can’t seem to find joy, take time to do a mental and emotional inventory. May you experience freedom from whatever thought, belief, past or present event, worry, or doubt that is keeping you from the abundant life Jesus came to give you.
Extended Reading: Luke 15